It seems cyber security has been this decade’s buzz word. In 2016 alone, the world saw some of the largest cyber-attacks in history – Verizon and Snapchat, to name just two. Big business or small business, cyber-attackers will strike anywhere with the single mission of stealing data. Whilst there is no guarantee of being 100 per cent safe from cyber criminals, there are several ways to limit your company’s risk. Brush up on these five best practices below to determine if you're doing all you can to protect your company from cyber-attacks.
- Educate Your Teams
Cyber-attacks rely on individual mistake to steal your organisation's data, so your first step should be to invest in your people. Successful cyber security training will teach employees to create strong passwords, prevent phishing mails, and identify insecure programs and networks. Education will also teach what happens during an attack and will identify all the risks associated with an attack. Training needs to be conducted regularly and in varied formats, such as in-person, via email and through the use of blogs
- Set Clear Expectations for Vendors & New Employees
Cyber security should be a key part of every organisation’s onboarding process. Outlining use policies for new employees and vendors sets an intelligent precedent about security from the start. Training should also be tailored by staff role, and be made practical and relevant.
- Maintain Up-to-Date Security Patches and Implement Hardware & Software Restrictions
As cyber attackers are constantly evolving, businesses need to ensure their security tools are too. Ensure that all software and hardware is current, and always perform ongoing risk assessments. Firms should gather and evaluate potential risk indicators on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, in addition to looking at what is happening at other firms and industries. Finally, place restrictions on the types of programs available for installation and unauthorise all downloads that employees can perform on company computers. Avoid freeware and shareware at all costs as these can potentially be serious threats.
- Keep Detailed Security Logs
This is key to preventing cyber security crimes – maintaining complete logs of what happens in your systems is excellent for security in addition to troubleshooting. This is especially critical with applications which do not have their own inner logging systems. Adding tools to log the action of these applications can allow a business to secure any gaps in safety.
- Create a Data Breach Response Plan
The truth is that nearly half of all UK companies experienced a safety incident in the last year. Even if you follow each of these best practices religiously, your business might still get breached. That is why it is critical to come up with a response plan in advance. If you have a strategy in place, you are going to be able to reduce the damage if a cyber-attack occurs.
Cyber-attacks are dangerous for any business, large or small. You can keep your company and your employees safe from these dangerous breaches by following the recommendations above to ensure your business will be better equipped to keep your company data safe and protected from prying eyes.